Sticky clutch on brand new bike?
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Thread: Sticky clutch on brand new bike?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Fast Eddie B's Avatar
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    Sticky clutch on brand new bike?

    I've just had my 2017 TW200 since Tuesday, and have just under 50 miles on it.

    From the beginning, the clutch cable - or something - felt draggy.



    It's bad enough that pulling away from a stop is a tad jerky. The cable appears to be routed properly.

    Just curious if this is at all normal on a new bike - I'd imagine not.
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  2. #2
    Member chuckgarrett's Avatar
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    I wouldn't think so.
    Maybe disconnect the cable at the transmission side and see if it's still sticky
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  3. #3
    Senior Member lugnut's Avatar
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    I bought one last month and my clutch would stick so bad that when you tried to put it in gear it stalled. Getting better now with a little wear on it. I just changed oil and went to Mobil1 4tr and it even shifts better and the clutch feels better.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Fast Eddie B's Avatar
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    Thanks, all.

    Subjectively it feels like something binding in the cable or lack of lubrication.

    I may troubleshoot tomorrow or just run by the dealer Monday or Tuesday.

    I'm used to hydraulic clutches on modern BMW's and KTM's. But even the cable-operated clutch on my Buell is much smoother than this - when properly lubricated.
    Last edited by Fast Eddie B; 05-13-2017 at 08:09 PM.
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  6. #5
    Senior Member PlacerLode's Avatar
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    something to check is an assembly line flaw common on all TW's from 1987 to present I would say 1 in 10 bikes have this clutch related assembly mistake or oversight. It should not cause any problems but in theory it does involve a clutch return / retraction spring. Look on top of your engine case on the rear left top side and look at the clutch actuator arm and make sure the return spring engages the arm and is not tucked underneath it. Another thought is TW's do run an oil bathed wet clutch and when plates are "dry" from sitting or prolonged storage the plates can stick together. Note the first time you engage the transmission after a cold start the bike will lurch forward because the clutch plates have not fully rotated therefore not fully bathed in oil
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  7. #6
    Senior Member Fast Eddie B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGman View Post
    Lube the clutch cable.
    Obviously my first inclination.

    As an aside, later model BMWs with cables recommended against lubrication. The reasoning was they were lined with self-lubricating Teflon, and all oil would do was serve as a magnet for dirt and grit.

    I guess I can assume we do not have a cable like that on our clutch?

  8. #7
    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
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    What Placer load said is the first DIY inspection to do. Lube the cable is the second and last thing is to take it to your selling dealer and have them do what ever warranty repair is necessary to make it right. There should be no charge at all and a dealer mechanic should identify the offender in a matter of minutes.

    One thing we have seen a number of times here is complaints about how wonky the clutches are. Hard to describe but if you take the complete throw of the clutch lever from fully out to fully in touching the grip there is only a very short amount of that complete travel that has any effect at all in engaging and disengaging the clutch plates. If the lever travels 3 inches from out to in there is usually only about 3/4 of an inch in that travel that does anything.

    GaryL
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    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    As mentioned above, check to see if the tension spring is hooked up and over the arm. On more than a few new bikes, they are not. This will leave the clutch lever feeling mushy.
    ====

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    Last edited by Gerry; 05-14-2017 at 09:10 AM.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Deepseadan's Avatar
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    Sticky clutch on brand new bike?

    My new 2016 did exactly the same thing. I lubed the cable and stretched the return spring hoping that smooth it out but it didn't. The irritating part was the cable was smooth most of the way right until the clutch would start to engage then it would start sticking and the tw would lunge forward. I was pretty pissed thinking crap I guess this is what you get when you buy a bike with a msrp of $4599. Anyways I can't remember exactly when, but it will get smoother and eventually won't stick at all somewhere in the 150 -250 mile range if you do a lot of stop and go. Of course I switched to amsoil synthetic oil at 100 miles so that may have helped to. But I will say that I came to the conclusion that this issue was internal and had nothing to do with external springs or lube.


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    Last edited by Deepseadan; 05-14-2017 at 09:16 AM.
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    Current bikes 2016 KTM 500 EXC, 2016 Yamaha TW 200

  11. #10
    Senior Member Fast Eddie B's Avatar
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    MAJOR clue today!

    I went out today to troubleshoot. Looked at the clutch arm as I pulled and released the lever, and - surprise - it was smooth as silk. Well, almost.

    Nothing had changed other than the bike sitting overnight. My guess is the binding is in the clutch rod in a warm engine.

    My KTM had a similar issue when cold. KTM offered a fix - a new clutch rod made of a different material. I think it was originally aluminum and the replacement was steel, but it might have been vice versa. The idea, I think, was dissimilar expansion rates causing the binding.

    I may go ahead and do an oil change at around 100 miles. I'll just wait and see if the clutch rod wears in a bit, or if a different oil helps. I may still run it by the dealer in case it's something more serious.

    And thanks for all the suggestions!

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